A summer of spooks


Well the November Investigation headed out into the dark a week or two ago, and whilst we had a lot of fun we didn’t have much in the way of activity at all.  Everyone was a little on the edgy side out there with a relatively small group, but a lot of laughs were had to take the edge off, with a few scaredy-cats jumping a mile every time a wallaby so much as twitched, and a few accidental scares when investigators stumbled upon each other in the dark.
We’re still picking up plenty of EMF action in the Commandant’s House, and have identified that the field around the security system reaches about 3 metres out from the alarm itself, which explains any readings in the front few rooms and even into the back hallway of the building.

As of last month we are changing our method of data sharing with participants.  Rather than burning a disc for you we now have some cute little Port Arthur USB sticks, so keep an eye out for those in the post if you came along for November.

We have a couple of new bits of gear in circulation for this month, with some new voice recorders and some fabulous EMF alarms ready to try out in December.
The December investigation is now fully booked, however we are pleased to offer an extra 3 investigations in 2014 to cater for the busy summer months.
Upcoming investigation dates for 2014 are:

January 11th
January 25th
February 8th
February 22nd
March 15th
March 29th
April 26th
May 31st
June 28th
July 26th
August 30th
September 27th
October 25th
November 29th
December 27th

In other news, this summer we welcome Andrew back to our team after a winter working out on the tracks for the Three Capes walk.  Andrew will be back out as a lead investigator in the coming months, and is very keen to get going again.

In the meantime, we of the Port Arthur Paranormal team wish everyone a very merry Christmas, and a safe and spooky New Year. 🙂

Til next time.

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A busy spooky winter


We’ve been A.W.O.L for a while, it’s so mysteriously that it’s almost spooky…!

The reality is we’ve had a busy time of it lately, with not just our regularly scheduled Investigations, but also an evening spent with Nick and Woody from SEA FM Hobart, and their 4 lucky competition winners, and a private investigation for a group from New Zealand.  Cait’s currently working on an update from the last few investigations, we’ll get it posted up soon as we can. 

Things are going well for the Paranormal Team here at Port Arthur, and the Investigations are getting more and more popular, so if you’re planning on coming to join us any time in the next few months I recommend getting your booking in soon.  Last night’s PIE was booked out several weeks in advance!

Having talked to Cait about last night, she reports that whilst her group were at the Asylum she could hear loud dragging and banging noises inside the Separate Prison. She said it was as though heavy metal objects were being dragged along the corridor in the prison. She assumed it was John’s group still inside investigating, but when the noises became even louder and she went to see what was going on she found the building was locked up tight with no one inside.

We also need to give a huge shout out and thank you to Casie Lee, who has joined us here for two investigations, and has since been an absolute trooper helping out with the data analysis.  Thanks so much Casie, we sat down and had a good look through everything you sent us before the PIE last night and it looks like you’ve picked up on some brilliant anomalies, we particularly like the voice in the Commandant’s House that appears to say “Tell them to go away” and “Dont go in to the bad room”.  We’ll post some up as soon as we’ve had another look at them.

Any wayward data discs are soon to be on their way to their new homes, my project for today is to get through the backlog so keep an eye out for your incoming discs soon.

Cheers and Happy Halloween!

Mel and the PIE team

Someone in the Commandant’s House wants to play


The July Investigation has now been and gone, and an interesting investigation it was too.

We welcomed Meahd to her first investigation, and she pulled it off like a pro – from listening to her EVP sessions she sounds like she’s been investigating for years! Well done, Meahd.

We had 12 participants for the investigation who all seemed to have a great time getting into the buildings for some quality paranormal time.

The most bizarre thing to report has to have been the noise from the Commandant’s house.  At the time when the noise was first heard I was out on the Verandah at the front of the house, and everyone else was inside with gear.  Two of our group heard the noise while investigating, and came and got me.  We went back to the room where they’d been (just up on the first landing of the stairs, right across from the study – what is it with me and that area?) and tried to get it to happen again.  We were rewarded with more giggly/gurgly noises.  We’re still working on an explanation, but can happily rule out gurgling water as it wasn’t raining, and that area of the house does not have running water – so no pipes in the walls.  We looked for squeaky doors and floorboards too, but no luck there either.

Listen to the EVP here.

What I find entertaining is that there used to be a time when if something like that happened, I would’ve been the first one out the door!  These days my curiosity is getting the better of fear.  A good thing?  Here’s hoping.

In other news we have another special tour coming up with the crew from SEA FM (100.9FM) in the next few weeks.  They’ll be joining us for a ghost tour and a paranormal investigation in mid August, then broadcasting the Breakfast show from our Visitors Centre the following morning.  Listen out to SEA FM for more details coming soon.

The next public Paranormal Investigation Experience heads out the door at 9 pm on the 31st August. Plenty of space available, so head over to our bookings page to secure your spot.

Want to find a gift to give the person who has everything? Why not treat that someone special to a Paranormal Investigation Experience at Port Arthur.  Get in touch with our reservations staff (reservations@portarthur.org.au or freecall 1800 659 101 from within Australia) to talk about gift certificates – the perfect birthday/mothers day/fathers day/christmas present for any paranormal aficionado.

And finally, don’t forget to follow our blog by email on our home page to keep updated with all the spooky happenings at Port Arthur.

‘Til next time – The P.I.E. Team

Let’s mess with the Sceptic


A few weeks back we had a private Investigation for some visiting journalists.  It was a great night, sadly no spooks but everyone was edgy enough without anything dramatic happening.  The appearance of a wee ghostie may have tipped everyone over the edge!  It got us thinking about familiarity and the difference it makes to fear levels.  Sometimes it’s hard for those of us who’ve been around Port Arthur a while to remember that when you’re new to the place these ruins and buildings can be very much on the creepy side.  For us it’s the place we spend hours in every week.  It is familiar, and comfortable (some of the time), and it’s only when the anomalous events kick it up a notch that most of us experience fear.  For visitors, this is a very big, unfamiliar and rather terrifying ex-prison full of dark and somber ruins, and potentially spooky things that want to come and say hello (we hope!).

Earlier that same week we spent many hours freezing our behinds off at the photo shoot for our brand new promotional images.  Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for the glossy and glamorous pics of the P.I.E. A big thanks has to go to all of the volunteers who turned up to model for us, both the locals and our team of Volunteer Archaeologists who’ve been working on the Penitentiary project in the last few months.  Thanks for helping, you guys were troopers!

The April Investigation took place on Saturday the 27th, and a highly successful investigation it was too (To quote Caitlin it was “Ridiculously fun”).  About the strangest thing that happened was during the Separate Prison investigation.  Caitlin heard voices outside the prison towards the end of the investigation and thought that Jenni’s group had arrived to switch locations.  So Caitlin packed up her group and moved outside to let Jenni’s group in only to find that they were halfway across the site still, and only just starting to make their way towards the prison. No one was loitering near the prison at all.  Cait claims that the Site is now messing with her for her scepticism, and I really hope that’s the case, it could surely get pretty interesting in the next few months! The same noises were heard later in the night when one of Caitlin’s group decided to forgo the last Investigation and wait in the Lunatic Asylum alone.  She too heard the noises by the Separate Prison, though she was the only person in the area at the time.  I just love the fact that the person hanging out in a 19th Century Lunatic Asylum started hearing things, it’s a bit twisted really.

We also welcomed back the Enright group from Deloraine who have now been on the Investigations with us 3 times.  They had a great night with Jenni, and since finding a passion for the Paranormal have even gone out and bought themselves some gear which they brought along and let us have a look at.  This group can commonly be found checking out cemeteries and haunted hotels around Northern Tas.  Nice work guys!

The May Investigation is on Saturday the 25th, to join us please click here to head over to our bookings site.

If you have any questions you would like to ask any of the Paranormal Team, please leave us a comment below, or send us an email to paranormal@portarthur.org.au. And don’t forget to follow this blog by email to keep up to date with all of the latest anomalous events on site!

Stories in the dark


Wednesday night we had UK journalist Tim Robey out on site with us for a few hours, though sadly the anomalous events didn’t quite amp up like we’d hoped.  We did, however, spend a good deal of time in the Commandant’s House, and let me tell you that building just doesn’t get any friendlier-feeling in the dark.

With just 4 of us in there the place was quite atmospheric.  Particularly when we took a moment to sit on the stairs and talk about the spooky events we’ve experienced in there.  Story-teller extraordinaire Caitlin never fails to give me the creeps when she talks about events in any of these buildings (i can happily admit that the first time i did her ghost tour many years ago, i was scared to come back to Port Arthur!).  The house itself delivered on some fairly ominous creaking noises, but as is the nature of old buildings, the place tends to creak a lot. We also experimented a bit with the fascinating way the human mind picks patterns out of the darkness.  There’s nothing quite like standing in a dark old house watching what appears to be a dark figure walking down a corridor towards you!  It’s amazing what our eyes do to us in the dark!  If you’re coming on an investigation soon, ask us about this and we’ll demonstrate.

We’re yet to go over the footage of our time in the building on Wednesday night, but based on our personal experiences i think it will be highly unlikely that we recorded much at all.

In other news, today we farewell our Director of Tourism Operations, Danial Rochford, who is leaving Port Arthur to move to a much sunnier locale.  Danial was hugely supportive of the team setting up the Paranormal Investigation Experience at the Site, and heavily involved in the development of what is now proving to be a very popular and successful venture.  Thanks Danial!

As i write this I’m also multi-tasking.  Beside me is the Paranormal laptop which is churning out the last of our data discs to send out to prior groups, so keep an eye on your mail boxes, the discs will be there soon.

To wrap up, tomorrow night is Paranormal Investigation Night for November!  If you’re in the area and feel like joining us, head to our bookings site now to secure the last spaces.

It’s almost that time again…


An update, finally!

It’s now just a few days before our July Investigation, and I can happily say that at last check there were only 2 spots left.  Investigations for the rest of the year are booking out quickly too, so if you’re planning on joining us this year get in quick to make your booking.

We are currently fighting our way through hours and hours of data from our last 3 investigations (that’s a lot of data!) and are slowly getting it into order so that we can send it out to those who participated.  We have come across a great photo in the Separate Prison, and an odd noise in the Commandant’s House, and still have a lot of footage left to examine.  We’ll post the photo here as soon as it’s been sent out to the April group.

If you’re coming along this Saturday night, don’t forget to dress warmly.  We’re into the nasty winter weather now, so don’t be afraid to bring a blanket and a torch, you might need them!  We’ve certainly seen some weird weather events for investigations this year, everything from the 25 degree night of February to the thunderstorms and torrential rain of April.  Who knows what this weekend could bring! We’ve also had some impressive views of the Aurora from the historic site in recent weeks.

We’ve also just taken delivery of some new equipment.  We have a new Air Ion Counter, as well as a Ghost Box or three.  This should all add to the kind of results we can pick up!

And finally, tonight, Cait and I are headed out with a small group private investigation, should be even creepier than normal with so few people.  If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, talk to our reservations team via ph. 1800 659 101 (from within Australia) or +61 (0)3 6251 2310 from overseas.  Or you can send through an email to reservations@portarthur.org.au for more information.

More updates (and photos) to come soon.  Mel.

A spooky voice…


It’s now just a few days until our next Paranormal Investigation Experience, so get your bookings in fast to come along and join Cait and Jenni this Saturday night 28th April.

To update, our March Investigation data analysis is almost complete, and whilst we can’t reveal exactly what was picked up, I can say we have a definite EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) from the Separate Prison.  I’ll let you know more in the next update; once the March Participants have received their Investigation Reports (it’s only fair that they get to hear it first!).  But to get an EVP after just a couple of investigations is something exciting and unexpected.  We’re some happy little campers right now!

April 12th saw Cait and I investigating with Sea FM’s Matt and LC, along with the four lucky winners of their Fright Night competition.  It was a fun night of frivolity, and the highlight was definitely locking our brave radio presenters into the punishment cell and their reaction of utter terror once they realised they couldn’t get back out.  It turns out that Matt had been planning on freaking LC out, he just hadn’t expected to be unable to escape once the panic set in.  I can honestly say that everyone else got a bit of a kick out of hearing the squeals of fear through the closed doors.

The challenge had been for Matt and LC to take on the punishment cell with no torches, communication devices or any other light sources, just the Full Spectrum digital camera.  The idea was that the only light they would see was through the flash when a photo was taken.  Needless to say they didn’t handle the challenge with any bravery at all (unless you count bashing on the door and screeching to be let out as brave!) so the challenge remains open to any future participants willing to be locked in under those circumstances.

An unexpected twist came the morning after the investigation, where we awoke to find photos and comments all over the Ghost Tour’s Facebook page regarding the physical attack of one participant during her sleep at the on-site staff hostel.  I have no doubt that to wake up and find yourself scratched up is a little terrifying, though at this stage I cannot say that it was paranormal in nature, as there are still possible logical explanations.

Coming up soon Cait and I will be spending a night locked in the separate prison with a group of sceptics.  We’ll keep you posted on how it all pans out.

And here’s a reminder that when venturing out in the dark, always take a torch. Fairly logical, it would seem. This one I found out the hard way after falling over 3 times in quick succession, though thankfully no injuries this time.

Want to take on the Punishment Cell challenge? Book here: https://mercury.intouch-usa.com/webpoint/wp.dll?Axis/PortArthur:/../Default/Pages/Bookings/AttributeIcon/AttributeIconGoto.ips?ID=0-6:1042321200619465

More updates soon. Mel.